State nurseries come top

4th June 1999 at 01:00
STRIKING differences in the standards of state and private nurseries emerge in a new report from the Welsh Inspectorate - with the public sector coming out on top.

The inspectors found that services for four-year-olds were satisfactory or better in around 85 per cent of state nursery and primary schools, but in only 55 per cent of the private playgroups and nurseries.

There was a similar difference in teaching quality - teachers in the private sector tended not to work enough alongside children.

The greatest disparity was in curriculum planning, assessment and record-keeping. While at least four out of five state schools reached satisfactory standards, only one in three private playgroups and nurseries did so.

However, children's personal and social development was at least satisfactory, and often good or very good, in more than 85 per cent of settings in both sectors.

The report, based on full inspections of 340 maintained nursery and primary schools and more than 300 non-maintained playgroups and nurseries in 1997-98, states that the overall quality of education for this age group continues to improve - but slowly.

In about one in 10 early-years classes in maintained schools, teachers introduce reading and writing too early to children who do not yet understand that written symbols have sound and meaning.

"Standards and Quality in the Early Years: educational provision for four- year-olds in the maintained and non-maintained sectors," can be obtained from OHMCI, Phase 1, Government Buildings, Ty Glas Road, Llanishen, Cardiff CF14 5FQ.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today